The drought may be over! Pawuk qualifies Summit Pontiac in Vegas; WMore good news: Lingenfelter on the mend. RICHFIELD, OH 10/30/01Â For the last several races Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk's Summit Racing team has had difficulty making the cut in the ...
The drought may be over!
Pawuk qualifies Summit Pontiac in Vegas; WMore good news: Lingenfelter on the mend.
RICHFIELD, OH 10/30/01 For the last several races Mark "Cowboy" Pawuk's Summit Racing team has had difficulty making the cut in the increasingly competitive NHRA POWERade Series Pro Stock fields, but following a successful outing at the AC Delco Nationals the struggle may be coming to an end. Following extensive testing and a lot of internal team soul-searching, Pawuk and crew chief Rob Downing decided to park their Jerry Bickel-built Pontiac Grand Am in favor of a Don Ness-built variation, and the move paid off with a 14th qualifying position at the high altitude track. "I'm definitely pleased about our weekend," Pawuk said, "But right now I'm even happier to report that my teammate, John Lingenfelter, was successfully operated on in California late yesterday, and this morning's medical bulletin is extremely encouraging. The doctors were expecting a four hour operation, but when they went in they were able to check things out and complete the surgery in only 2 1/2 hours. They're also reporting that John has complete movement of his extremities, and he's no longer in a medically induced coma, and appears well on the way to a complete recovery. "When something like John's accident happens it really puts everything we're doing into its proper perspective, because the people we're involved with are really a heck of a lot more important than racing results. John is a quality guy, and exceptional engine builder and a very good businessman, but more than that, he's a friend." Lingenfelter was injured during the NHRA Summit Sport Compact Series Finals at Pomona last weekend. Prior to the Las Vegas POWERade Series race Pawuk's team tested extensively at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis. "We learned a lot about the Ness car during that session, and we tested again on Monday after the race in Vegas, and learned even more. "We went into Vegas without our best motor, which was heavily damaged on the dyno the week before the race, and couldn't be repaired in time. The engine dropped an intake valve, which caused severe damage to the cylinder heads, but we're hoping to have it back together in time for the Finals at Pomona next week," he said. "We've run a lot of engines through our cars in the last two weeks, some of them from other teams, and all of them ran almost the same elapsed times and speeds as our Number 2 powerplant, so we're really anxious to get our Number 1 back in time for Pomona. "We're also talking to another driver about running our second car at the Finals so we can compare the results on a side-by-side basis. We haven't made any final decision about that yet, but regardless of how that shakes out, we're definitely happy about how we ran in Las Vegas. Now the goal is to run even better in California," Pawuk said. Pawuk qualified 14th at the AC Delco Nationals with a 6.963/197.80 against a bump spot of 6.967 seconds. He lost to Greg Stanfield's Neon in the first round with a 6.942 to 6.982 second margin. -30-